Extreme Home-Do-Over

Blogging Under the Influence of Teenagers; It's Constipated!

If you were to ask me, as a social media enthusiast and OG blogger (never mind, just exactly HOW old gangstuh, you whippuh-snappuh, you!), hey Liz (psssst, that's me!), what IS the MOST difficult part of blogging...wait, I KNOW THIS!...for me, it's typing out this introductory sentence. This first paragraph is crucial, as it serves as a mini-outline for the blog post: It tells the reader what the blog post is about -- the hook, if you will.

Here's mine: Life with teenage/adult kids does NOT get any less complicated, in fact, I haven't performed THIS many face-palms in the history of This Full House and I've been blogging for...wait, WHAT YEAR IS IT?!?....holy Hannah Montana...I've been over-sharing for 13 years!?!?!

The kid formerly known as Mini-me -- she's MUCH prettier and smarter all growed up and everything, if you haven't already figured that out!

GAWD, I'm old. But I still look good, yo. Anyhow. These last six months have been...what's the word...hang on, there was a tried and true old blogging adage we used to use...wait...I KNOW THIS!!!...oh yeah, nucking futs!!!...okay, fine...technically, it's two pretend words...unless I type it like...NUCKINGFUTS...yeah, works for me, how about you?!?!

[blows bangs out of eyes, scratches at underground zit on chin]

Aaaaaanyway. Life is moving REAL fast, like in...wait, what do you MEAN you're a senior in high school...sort of crazy, and, well, I have a funny story to tell you.

But first, here's a picture of the newest high school senior in da house. Cute. Right?!?! He's also working part-time at the fast food restaurant that shall not be named (that one is for Melisa's husband!) and "making bank" <--- not sure if that is even a relevant term any more, but whatevs ---> and, for the folks who are JUST catching up, Glen has been preparing to join the military, since the age of 3, BUT he's made a final decision about exactly which branch of the military. 


Soooooo, this is happening. Researching his choices, I'm holding it together pretty well (sort of), you guys.

A photo posted by Liz Thompson (@thisfullhouse) on

It's not the Air Force (although, they did have the prettiest recruitment center and I realize that pretty recruitment centers should NOT have anything to do with his decision, but it was nice to be able to visit a pretty recruitment center, just saying), or the Navy (visited them on an off day, I think), or the Army (like his Uncle Bud).

This week, my husband and I will sign the early-entry papers, allowing my son to enlist as a Marine -- which probably should have been the first sentence of this blog post and welcome to my brain, lately.

I have sooooo many thoughts and opinions about my son's imminent enlistment into the Marine Corps., but I'm actually saving those for another blog post...or twenty...along with my transition into working full-time and becoming the sole-breadwinner...although, my husband makes a real pretty Mr. Mom...also blog-worthy, for another time....you're welcome!!!

Glen: How could you joke about something like this?!?

I don't remember EXACTLY what we were talking about...because, I am the mother of two teenagers and two twenty-somethings...brain cells are at a premium...but, I was cracking an inappropriate joke about it, so it must have been pretty heavy.

Me: Because it's either laugh or cry, my son.

[blank stare]

Me: Sometimes the only thing you CAN do is to laugh, to keep yourself from crying, my son.


Garth(NHRN) [hollering while running out the front door]: GAH!!! Friggin' house is constipated, AGAIN!!! 

Moral of the Story: Maaaaaan, boot camp is going to seem like a sabbatical (okay, not really) and is this boy going to miss us, or what?!?

May the road rise to meet you, may your backflow be nominal and may you NEVER run out of toilet paper, my son. In the meantime, if anyone needs me, I'll be right here, trying NOT to cry and pretending like this blog post ACTUALLY made SOME sort of sense to you, yo!

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Free labor!

I was pregnant with our oldest daughter when Garth (not his real name) and I bought our house, which makes for an awesome timeline...because our oldest daughter turned 21 in November...and now I don't have to worry about doing too much math, to figure out that we bought this house 21 years ago and...YES!!!...I'm an awesome planner, like that.

3 more kids later, not so much.

This house was supposed to be our starter home. What?!? Okay, fine. I guess it's safe to say that we're just really sloooooooooooow starters...ahem...aaaaaanyway, a modest 3 bedroom home would fit us perfectly.

3 more kids later, not so much.

Now that the kids are mostly grown and 2 are very nearly out of the house, there's really no reason for us to upgrade to a larger home. See how that ALL worked out?!? Besides, our 3 girls have grown used to sharing a bedroom for this long, what's another year or twenty, right?!?

Note to our girls, if any of you are reading this post right now: that was totally a rhetorical question.

Anyway, here's the really, really, best...I mean like totally AWESOME...part of having ALL 4 kids STILL living at home:

Day 2 All Hands on Deck!
It's 38 degrees and sunny out, ALL HANDS ON DECK!

FREE LABOR, enough said! Oh, and if you're wondering where kidlet #4 is?

Hope likes to organize - she gets it from her Dad!
Hope likes to organize stuff, she gets it from her Dad!

I've put her organizational skills to good use -- she's already gone through the ENORMOUS stack of filing that's been piling up since I don't remember when and is waiting for permission to shred!

The Christmas tree, on the other hand, will most likely stay up until around sometime in February...because I'm also easy-breezy, like that.

©2003 - 2015 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything! Also, I'm attempting to blog EVERY DAY in 2015, I hope it lasts! #TFH365

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Because a picture paints a thousand words AND sometimes maybe even a house!

Contrary to what the rest of my family feels (except for my son, who celebrates his birthday on the 23rd), January is one of my most favorite months of the year. For me, waking up on New Year's Day is sort of like turning to a fresh page in a brand new notebook or purchasing a novel I've been aching to read.

Half the excitement is in the anticipation of the journey, equaled only by the endless possibilities in watching the progression of a story unfold.

Personal blogging is a lot like that: I have ALL the words in January, but then life begins to quickly insist on equal (if not more) facetime and, well, trying to weed through all the suckage...day in and day out...has a way of knocking even the most coherent sentences...senseless.

Case in point, see previous paragraph.

Long story short: My kids and I have literally grown up in this space and celebrating the start of 2015 also means I've now entered into my 12th year of blogging, however, I'm personally finding it increasingly difficult to write -- not without feeling as if I'm being kept behind the border of some imaginary line of what is or isn't blog-worthy.

Excuse my Jersey, but FRIG THAT!

I take a lot of pictures, every day. I also share a lot of photos on social media, because they are moments that have either given me a good laugh or moved me in some way and...honestly...I enjoy sharing laughs and movements are good, too.

Photos have always been an inspiration to the stories I've shared here at This Full House, in fact, this blog has morphed into a timeline of sorts for...oh, I don't know...like settling family disputes or dating our appliances.

For example, when our water heater broke (among other things) last month:

Garth (not his real name): When did we get this &%#$ing water heater, anyways?!?!

Me: Wait, let me check the blog.

[one beat, two beats]

Me: We got the &%#$ing water heater in September 2009, when I posted about Our Date night on Twitter.

Social media is awesome, but it will never replace blogging...not completely...because you can squeeze only so much awesome into 140 characters, right?!? RIGHT?!?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Right. Soooo, for my first blog post in 2015, I grabbed my phone...looked out my kitchen window...and grabbed a shot of the very first thing I saw, you know, for inspiration:

Day 1 January Blues

It's a photo of my husband, Garth (not his real name) and he's painting the house...again.

So, besides explaining to you why he is painting the house in January, I can also prove to our insurance company that:

  • YES!!! My husband is painting the house!!!
  • He has been TRYING to get the house painted since around Thanksgiving!!!
  • But he also works 3 out of 4 weekends, most every month.
  • And he's literally freezing his ball-bearings off!!!
  • Still TRYING to get the house painted!!!
  • BY JANUARY 16th!!!
  • Which is the deadline before they cancel our homeowner's insurance!!!
  • If we don't get the house painted.
  • BY JANUARY 16TH!!!
  • And did you know that paint is best applied only in temperatures ABOVE 35 degrees?!?!
  • Because, WINTER!!!

Stupid insurance company, dumbass exterior latex paint.

©2003 -2015 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything! Also, I'm attempting to blog EVERY DAY in 2015, I hope it lasts! #TFH365

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Garth and the Amazing Technicolor Dream House

Garth (not his real name) and I have been planning to paint our house for a long while, however, like most of our DIY projects (see also: all of them), preparing for one thing...leads to eleven more unplanned projects...which need to be addressed, first...before we can even begin thinking about starting on...ummmmm...wait, what WERE we talking about, again?

[blows bangs out of eyes, looks down at hands, picks at chipped fingernail polish]

OH YEAH! Painting the house. Right. So, it doesn't help that one of us is more of a...let's just sit back and wait...perhaps think about this a little more, rationally...type person. While the other one of us is all...ohhhhhhhh, let's just throw caution to the wind and get'r done, already...DAMMIT!!!

Guess which one of us is which. Go ahead. I'll wait.

[taps foot, counts one Mississippi, two Mississippi]

IT'S ME!!! I am so NOT a good sit back and just wait-er.


This Full House Autumn 2014
Autumn is the perfect time to paint the house: look at all the pretty colors!

Loooong...boooooring...even more convoluted than usual...story short...we're to the point where we HAVE to paint the house and, well, Garth (not his real name) had some scheduled time off, last week...sooooo, PERFECT TIMING!!!...besides, we've been prepping for this moment for a very looooong...well...hang on...let me show you.


This Full House Autumn 2014 4
Back of the house, color swatches circa at least two kids still in diapers ago (I think)!

We were leaning towards the second color from the left. Some sort of Sante Fe terra cotta, I think. Then our parents got sick. My parents moved. Brother gets married, invites all 6 of us to be in the wedding party. And then "Maybe next year" turned into "Meh...the house doesn't look THAT bad, right?!?"


This Full House Autumn 2014 5
Front of the house, circa at least one kid in high school ago (maybe).

Actually, you can't see the color, not anymore. It was a lovely barn red, but my husband HATED IT and covered it with our newest selections.

This Full House Autumn 2014 6
Oh wait, I lied. Here's a small section he missed.

5 years later...I have to agree with him...ICK!!! So, he sent me to Home Depot with the following instructions: pick 3 of your favorite colors (see pic above the blood red) and then we'll just eenie-meenie-minee-moe-it!

GarthNHRN painting sexay
This right here, my friends? Is just all sorts of sexy. After 20+ years, dozens of snow storms, Nor'easters and 2 major hurricanes, the house is getting a fresh coat of paint. The old girl is smiling and looking good, already -- house, too :)

After a week of prepping the house for painting...for real...Garth (not his real name) completed the garage-side of the house, thinking we could let it set overnight and THEN decide if we really, really like it.


This Full House Autumn 2014 7
Yeah, I'm leaning towards the smokey plum.

Aaaaand, then it rained...and rained...and I'm all like...MOTHEREFFER!!!...meh, I've waited THIS long, what's another couple of days...or twenty more...right?!? RIGHT?!?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

One could ONLY dream. Besides, at this rate, we could simply continue testing color combinations and have the house painted in...[does the math]...another 30 years...give or take a high school graduation...yo!

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Sauder Experience: Evolution of a Shared Workspace

I'm very proud to partner with the good folks at Sauder, a manufacturer of affordable furniture you assemble yourself, and participate in the Sauder challenge: to share our experience(s) with Sauder and, hopefully, inspire other families (like mine) who have very little extra and literally, no room, or time to spare.

I've been writing online for 11 years -- my first blog post went live on September 2, 2003 -- which is like forever ago, in the evolution of the blogging community.  Today, I enjoy working to help others find online publishing opportunities and, hopefully, help further their blogging endeavors, as well.

Sauder challenge begins
buh-bye ugly old folding table. oh and we bought that sauder cabinet 10 years ago, it's a keeper.

I also telecommute from home. Which, with 6 people living in our 7 room house, is no easy feat (especially, during the summertime, when the kids are ALL home and probably bored) trust me!

So, I've claimed a small area in the play room/laundry room/den and it's worked out pretty well -- my teens sharing an old folding table, because the legs on the old kitchen table we re-purposed as a desk finally broke, not so much.

Continue reading "Sauder Experience: Evolution of a Shared Workspace" »

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Oh yes! There will be tomatoes, dammit!

My brother and I grew up in a 5 room house that was roughly 950 square feet, surrounded by steel mills and iron factories, and a mind-bogglingly complicated network of railroad tracks running along a port built to accommodate large tankers sailing their way through to New York City.

Sitting on my parents' patio, flanked by rose bushes and arbors shaded by nearly every flowering and fruiting tree you can imagine, you'd believe yourself to be somewhere completely different.

My father was a landscaper throughout our elementary school years and he'd often times bring home truckloads of stuff -- trees and bushes his boss had thrown out or given up on at the end of the day, only after growing tired of arguing with my dad and his insisting that they were just merely "very nearly dead".

He'd plant the "very nearly dead" stuff under my bedroom window in a raised bed he'd sectioned off as "the hospital" and they would always (and I mean ALWAYS!) thrive enough to be re-planted, somewhere else.

At thirteen years old, I thought it was magical! 

For reasons too long (and boring!) to go into (you're welcome!) I decided NOT to plant a vegetable garden, this summer. However, my not being able to send one of the kids outside to pick a couple of tomatoes and cucumbers for dinner...well, yeah, no...it just doesn't seem like summer.

Oh, my brother sent over a couple of plants he'd grown from seed, but I never got a chance to get them into the ground in time and...well, yeah, no...they were just merely very nearly dead, dammit.

So, my husband sectioned off an area next to the shed and I threw the plants in there, hoping they would live, for a little while longer, maybe.

Then it rained (A LOT!) and then it got cold (welcome to New Jersey!) and we all pretty much lost hope of ever being able to pick a tomato or cucumber, fresh off of the vine.

Until, this morning. I went to hang a couple of blankets out on the clothes line (because the dryer is being all pissy!), glanced over toward the shed and guess what?!?

Late Bloomers

I was all like, "What magic is this?!?" and although they'd only JUST begun to bear fruit, "Oh yes! There WILL be tomatoes!!!" DAMMIT!

Late Bloomers 3

Aaaaand, cucumbers...**wipes tears from eyes**...we WILL have cucumbers...YAY!!!

Late Bloomers 2
After my son cuts the grass and I get the youngest to do a little weeding, of course...because, she's the one that placed the "Hope" stake into the garden...it's all HER fault, right?!? RIGHT?!?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Riiiiiiiiiiight. But don't tell her I said so, because Hope is thirteen and STILL believes in magic, too!

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Went looking for a sugar bowl, but I decided to make these, instead: 20 Minute Mason Jar Dispensers

In an ongoing effort to cut down on the clutter (or clut-tuh, if you're from Jersey), I decided to re-arrange our kitchen counter (AGAIN!) and, while I was at it, organize myself a lovely little coffee station.

Because COFFEE!!! But the sugar bowls were taking up way too much counter space that we already didn't have and yes, I said sugar BOWLS: one for me and one for my husband, Garth (not his real name) who prefers the alternative-type of sweetener (a.k.a. sweet-nuh).

I remembered my MIL gave us a box of stuff, that was never added to the yard sale that we never had, so I headed out to the garage to do a little...you know...thrift shopping.

Mason jar craft supplies

Didn't find any sugar bowls (DANGIT!), but I did come across a couple of mason jars and corrugated salad bowls from the summer. Remember summertime? Yeah, me either. **sigh** Anyway, I thought to myself...SELF!!!...I can totally make these work:

Mason jar craft step 1 
I was actually looking for cardboard, but figured these heavier-type of paper bowls would work out just fine, because I am a mason jar half-full sort of gal.  

Mason jar craft step 2In fact, the paper made it much easier to fit the rounds into the mason jar lids. Now that I'm thinking on it some more, card stock would probably work really well, too.

Mason jar craft step 3

This project took me about 20 minutes to complete: I spent most of that time trying to get the labels to print out right, because I am a dork! You could certainly spend a more time in fashioning a prettier label, too.

Mason jar craft finished 3Either way, I love getting the chance to recycle (or upcycle) something from my garage and I am super-happy the way these simple little mason jar dispensers turned out.

Mah coffee center!

Aaaaaand, more importantly, they fit in nicely with my new coffee station, just left to the standing mixer, because...COFFEE!!!!

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.